Presentation of the Arab League


Arab flagsThe Arab League is an organization that consists of independent Arab States on the territory of northern and north-eastern part of Africa and southwest Asia.

Representatives of the first six member states – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia – that initiated the league’s formation signed the agreement in Cairo, on March 22, 1945.

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Charter of Arab League


The League of Arab States is composed of the independent Arab states which have signed this Charter.

Any independent Arab state has the right to become a member of the League. If it desires to do so, it shall submit a request which will be deposited with the Permanent Secretariat General and submitted to the Council at the first meeting held after submission of the request.


The League has as its purpose the strengthening of the relations between the member-states, the coordination of their policies in order to achieve co-operation between them and to safeguard their independence and sovereignty; and a general concern with the affairs and interests of the Arab countries. It has also as its purpose the close co-operation of the member-states, with due regard to the Organisation and circumstances of each state, on the following matters:

A.  Economic and financial affairs, including commercial relations, customs, currency and questions of agriculture an industry.

B.   Communications; this includes railroads, roads, aviation, navigation, telegraphs and posts.

C.  cultural affairs.

D.  Nationality, passports, visas, execution of judgments and extradition of criminals.

E.   Social affairs.

F.   Health affairs.


The League shall possess a Council composed of the representatives of the member-states of the League; each state shall have a single vote, irrespective of the number of its representatives.

It shall be the task of the Council to achieve the realisation of the objectives of the League and to supervise the execution of agreements which. the member-states have concluded on the questions enumerated in the preceding Article, or on any other questions.

It likewise shall be the Council task to decide upon the means by which the League is to co-operate with the international bodies to be created in the future in order to guarantee security and peace and regulate economic and social relations.


For each of the questions listed in Article II there shall be set up a special committee in which the member-states of the League shall be represented. These committees shall be charged with the task of laying down the principles and extent of co-operation. Such principles shall be formulated as draft agreements to be presented to the Council for examination preparatory to their submission to the aforesaid states.

Representatives of the other Arab countries may take part in the work of the aforesaid committees. The Council shall determine the conditions under which these representatives may be permitted to participate and the rules governing such representation.


Any resort to force in order to resolve disputes between two or more member-states of the League is prohibited. If there should arise among them a difference which does not concern a state’s independence, sovereignty, or territorial integrity, and if the parties to the dispute have recourse to the Council for the settlement of this difference, the decision of the Council shall then be enforceable and obligatory.

In such case, the states between whom the difference has arisen shall not participate in the deliberations and decisions of the Council.

The Council shall mediate in all differences which threaten to lead to war between two member-states, or a member-state and a third state, with a view to bringing about their reconciliation.

Decisions of arbitration and mediation shall be taken by majority vote.


In case of aggression or threat of aggression by one state against a member-state, the state which has been attacked or threatened with aggression may demand the immediate convocation of the Council.

The Council shall by unanimous decision determine the measures necessary to repulse the aggression. If the aggressor is a member-state, his vote shall not be counted in determining unanimity.

If, as a result of the attack, the government of the state attacked finds itself unable to communicate with the Council, the state’s representative in the Council shall request the convocation of the Council for the purpose indicated in the foregoing paragraph. In the event that this representative is unable to communicate with the Council, any member-state of the League shall have the right to request the convocation of the Council.


Unanimous decisions of the Council shall be binding upon all member-states of the League; majority decisions shall be binding only upon those states which have accepted them.

In either case the decisions of the Council shall be enforced in each member-state according to its respective laws.


Each member-state shall respect the systems of government established in the other member-states and regard them as exclusive concerns of those states. Each shall pledge to abstain from any action calculated to change stablished systems of government.


States of the League which desire to establish closer co-operation and stronger bonds than are provided for by this Charter may conclude agreements to that end.

Treaties and agreements already concluded or to be concluded in the future between a member-state and another state shall not be binding or restrictive upon other members.


The permanent seat of the League of Arab States is established in Cairo. The Council may, however, assemble at any other place it may designate.


The Council of the League shall convene in ordinary session twice a year, in March and in September. It shall convene in extraordinary session upon the request of two member-states of the League whenever the need arises.


The League shall have a permanent Secretariat-General which shall consist of a Secretary-General, Assistant Secretaries and an appropriate number of officials.

The Council of the League shall appoint the Secretary-General by a majority of two thirds of the states of the League. The Secretary-General, with the approval of the Council, shall appoint the Assistant Secretaries and the principal officials of the League.

The Council of the League shall establish an administrative regulation for the functions of the Secretariat-General and matters relating to the staff.

The Secretary-General shall have the rank of Ambassador and the Assistant Secretaries that of Ministers Plenipotentiary.

The first Secretary-General of the League is named in an annex to this Charter.


The Secretary-General shall prepare the draft of the budget of the League and shall submit it to the Council for approval before the beginning of each fiscal year.

The Council shall fix the share of the expenses to be borne by each state of the League. This may be reconsidered if necessary.


The members of the Council of the League as well as the members of the committees and the officials who are to be designated in the administrative regulation shall enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunity when engaged in the exercise of their functions.

The buildings occupied by the organs of the League shall be inviolable.


The first meeting of the Council shall be convened at the invitation of the head of the Egyptian Government. Thereafter it shall be convened at the invitation of the Secretary-General.

The representatives of the member-states of the League shall alternately assume the presidency of the Council at each of its ordinary sessions.


Except in cases specifically indicated in this Charter, a majority vote of the Council shall be sufficient to make enforceable decisions on the following matters:

A.  Matters relating to personnel.

B.   Adoption of the budget of the League.

C.  Establishment of the administrative regulations for the Council, the committees and the Secretariat General.

D.  Decisions to adjourn the sessions.


Each member-state of the League shall deposit with the Secretariat-General one copy of treaty or agreement concluded or to be concluded in the future between itself and another member-state of the League or a third state.


If a member state contemplates withdrawal from the League. shall inform the Council of its intention one year before such withdrawal is to go into effect.

The Council of the League may consider any state which fails to fulfill its obligations under the Charter as separated from the League, this to go into effect upon a unanimous decision of the states, not counting the state concerned.


This Charter may be amended with the consent of two thirds of the states belonging to the League, espec order to make firmer and stronger the ties between the member-states, to create an Arab Tribunal of Arbitration, and to regulate the relations of the League with any international bodies to be created in the future to guarantee security and peace.

Final action on the amendment cannot be taken prior Final action on an amend . . hich the motion to the session following the session in which the motion was initiated.

If a state does not accept such an amendment it may withdraw at such time as the amendment goes into effect, without being bound by the provisions of the preceding Article.


This Charter and its annexes shall be ratified according to the basic laws in force among the High Contracting parties.

The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretariat-General of the Council and the Charter shall become operative as regards each ratifying state fifteen days after the Secretary-General has received the instruments of ratification from four states.

This Charter has been drawn up in Cairo in the Arabic language on this 8th day of Rabi’ II, thirteen hundred and sixty four H. (March 22, 1945), in one copy which shall be deposited in the safe keeping of the Secretariat-General.

An identical copy shall be delivered to each state of the League.

(1) Annex Regarding Palestine

Since the termination of the last great war the rule of the Ottoman Empire over the Arab countries, among them Palestine, which bad become detached from that Empire, has come to an end. She has come to be autonomous, not subordinate to any other state.

The Treaty of Lausanne proclaimed that her future was to be settled by the parties concerned.

However, even though she was as yet unable to control her own affairs, the Covenant of the League (of Nations) in 1919 made provision for a regime based upon recognition of her independence.

Her international existence and independence in the legal sense cannot, therefore, be questioned, any more than could the independence of the other Arab countries.

Although the outward manifestations of this independence have remained obscured for reasons beyond her control, this should not be allowed to interfere with her participation in the work of the Council of the League.

The states signatory to the Pact of the Arab League are therefore ofthe opinion that, considering the special circumstances of Palestine anduntil that country can effectively exercise its independence, the Councilof the League should take charge of the selection of an Arab representativefrom Palestine to take part in its work.

(2) Annex Regarding Cooperation with Countries Which Are Not Members of the Council of the League

Whereas the member states of the League will have to deal in the Council as well as in the committees with matters which will benefit and affect the Arab world at large;

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And whereas the Council has to take into account the aspirations of the Arab countries which are not members of the Council and has to work toward their realization;

Now, therefore, it particularly behooves the states signatory to the Pact of the Arab League to enjoin the Council of the League, when considering the admission of those countries to participation in the committees referred to in the Pact, that it should spare no effort to learn their needs and understand their aspirations and hopes; and that it should work thenceforth for their best interests and the safeguarding of their future with all the political means at its disposal.

(3) Annex Regarding the Appointment of a SecretaryGeneral of the League

The states signatory to this Pact have agreed to appoint His Excellency Abdul-Rabman ‘Azzam Bey, to be Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.

This appointment is made for two years. The Council of the League shall hereafter determine the new regulations for the Secretary-General.

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Arab League seeks urgent UN meet on Gaza

The Arab League is calling for the UN Security Council to hold an urgent meeting to discuss the deadly Israeli air campaign against the Gaza Strip, Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi says.

Twelve people were killed on Tuesday and another 80 wounded in a number of attacks in the most serious flare-up in and around the Palestinian territory since November 2012.

An official from the pan-Arab bloc said Arabi had “instructed the Arab League’s UN representative to initiate urgent consultations within the Arab group calling for an emergency security meeting of the Security Council.”

Earlier, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas asked the international community to “immediately intervene to halt this dangerous escalation which would lead the region to more destruction and instability”.

Arabi said he had been “in touch with president Abbas to follow the latest developments in the Gaza Strip” while also continuing “consultations with Arab foreign ministers on this subject”.

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He denounced the “dangerous Israeli escalation” and warned against its humanitarian consequences in Gaza.

“The continued attacks on Palestinian civilians by Israel is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, the Geneva Convention and international resolutions on occupied Palestine,” said the Arab League chief.

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Impact of the Israel-Gaza Conflict on the Foreign Relations of Israel

The Israel-Gaza conflict that has killed over 100 people is one of the most intense ones, ever since the beginning of the Arab Spring uprisings. This conflict is not only affecting regional dynamics in the Middle East but also the political relationships of Israel with other nations.
Southern Israel has been the target of several rocket attacks by Gaza since 2009 to which Israel chose to show restraint and have also been applauded for this by other countries. However, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense with an air strike on November 14, killing Ahmed Jabari, Hamas military chief. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, famously stated that if Israel had to quit its arms, the nation would cease to exist. Similarly, if the Arabs had to lay down their weapons, war would cease to exist.

Egypt, Turkey and Qatar have come closer to Hamas due to their close alignment with the Muslim brotherhood. This puts a deeper constraint on their relationship with Israel. After Hamas’ departure from their Syria headquarters along with the reduction of funds from Iran, it was expected that the violence would cease. However, the recent violence that deployed Iranian long-range missiles indicates otherwise.

As the conflict persisted, the Israeli Prime Minister reached out to US President Barack Obama to reinstate a relationship between the two countries. Meanwhile, United States has come out in full support of Israel, despite the ongoing tensions between the two countries.

On the other hand, Egypt, the largest country in the region, played an assertive role in calling the recent truce between Israel and Gaza on November 21. It does not want their relations with Israel to be established by Hamas and, hence, did not visit Gaza during the war nor severed their relationship with Israel. However, if Egypt agrees to regulate the Gaza-Sinai border to prevent the shipment of long-range missiles from Iran to Gaza, Israel would have accomplished a part of its mission.

The countries that rank high on Israel’s list, Canada, European Nations and the United States, have shown support and understanding towards Israel’s act of defence. As Israel did not enter ground war, these governments give full credit to the Israeli government for successfully avoiding the situation.

This conflict has also highlighted the fact that Iran is at the centre of the trouble in the entire region and a nuclear deal with them only addresses a part of the entire problem, As Iran continues to send out ammunition and missiles to Syria and Gaza, the danger persists. The foremost point in the Israeli agenda in their meetings with the major countries would be how to stop Iran and subsequently the radical forces from gaining control of the entire region.

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Nevertheless, gaining a reputation of restraint and moderation, Israel has emerged as a winner when it comes to foreign relationships during and after this conflict.

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Where does Arab League stand in the Israel-Gaza conflict?

The worsening Israel-Gaza conflict has sparked a new tension in the region. Israel, which had been showing exemplary restraint towards attacks from Gaza ever since 2009, launched an air attack on November 14 that killed Hamas’ military wing commander. Thereafter, it has conducted several air strikes on Gaza; though, it has not yet initiated a ground war. Meanwhile, Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s new president, is working towards mediating a truce between Israel and Hamas.

The Arab League has been supporting Egypt’s efforts. The head of the Arab League, Nabil el-Aribi, along with other league officials visited the affected Gaza strip during the week-long conflict between the two. The fight between Hamas, the militant group, and Israel has received public disapproval, and been termed as an unfair and brutal attack on the Palestinians residing in the Gaza strip. Condemning this aggressive operation by Israel against Palestinians, the league has vowed to bring the siege to an end and also eradicate the economic blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007.

Diplomats from the Arab League met in Cairo and sanctioned Egypt’s efforts. The truce that took place on the 21st of November had agreed upon certain conditions laid down by the conflicting parties, all of which were not met or addressed. An official of the Arab League said that the organisation denounced the aggressive stand of Israel in rather strong words and has even warned of withdrawing their offer of recognising Israel they made almost a decade ago.

The league is now reconsidering its initiatives and even their relationship with Israel is under scrutiny by the diplomats. There are reports that the Arab League may even deploy the sympathy this aggression has garnered for Palestine in building support for its bid to upgrade its status in the United Nations General Assembly. Israel is opposed to this move. An Arab League diplomat said that some nations would abstain and some might vote against it. H also stated that the attacks would help these parties recheck their position.

The Palestinian Commissioner for International relations, Nabil Shaath, requested the league for a “firm and urgent” action in order to end the violence in Gaza and also said that they will take up the issue of the killing of civilians by the Israel armed forces with the UN Human Rights Council.

Both the Israelis and Hamas had laid down certain conditions before agreeing for ceasefire and the Arab leaders are striving hard to meet these demands. The Arab league officials along with European foreign ministers have stated that an immediate termination of this hostility is in the best interest of everyone due to their incorrigible impact on the civilians. Moreover, at a time when there’s profound instability in the entire region, the situation only gets worse from here.

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Condition of the Common People in Gaza & Israel

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Government of Hamas that started on November 14, 2012 and continued till the ceasefire truce on November 21, 2012, has severely disrupted the lives of ordinary people in the Gaza strip. According to the Palestine Centre for Human Rights, the 8-day cross-border fighting resulted in the death of 156 Palestinians, including 33 children and minors.
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Egypt’s efforts support to the Palestinians is supported by the Arab ministers

After the UN Security Council failed to bring about any respite between Israel and Gaza, Egypt, among many other countries, has tried to take the cause in its own hands. This initiative taken by Egypt is being supported by other Arab ministers. The ‘aggression’ that started off between these two countries needs to die as soon as possible to avoid further mass murders, rocket fires, missile projections and, most importantly, to restore peace in the Middle East region.
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Turkey Wants UN to Take Tougher Steps to End War in Syria

Fears that the Syrian civil war is spilling into the neighbouring countries is forcing many neighbouring countries to take a tougher stand on the conflict. Many surrounding Arab countries, which have been seeing a heavy influx of refugees and a spill-over effect of the violence in the form of cross border fires, are deciding to take a tougher joint action and are even considering military intervention.
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Intense Fighting going on in Aleppo and Daraa

After a relative lull on the first day of Eid al-Fitr holiday, the fighting renewed in Syria. The activists and rights groups said that the Syrian government forces struck Aleppo and Daraa with full force on the second day of the festival and killed about 30 people. This is perhaps a sign that the President Bashar Assad’s regime has continued to quell all opposition even after a 21-month uprising.
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